Saturday, January 12, 2013

January 12th - Back in the Studio with Julie

Today as I approached the gate at ABC, my heart beat faster and faster. I had prepared my acting speech in case the guard said anything, but as I reached the gate, he didn’t see me and I walked right through feeling very relieved.
As soon as I got into the studio, I saw Patty sitting in the top section of seats with a girl I didn’t know. Later I found out the girl was Julie’s fan club president, “Marsha Smith.” Walking over to say hello, I saw that Patty seemed to be busy writing in a notebook while she looked at a book called, “Discovering Antiques.” I asked her what she was doing.
“I feel silly, but Julie says that we never have anything to do, so I’m acting like I’m studying.”

After talking to Patty, I went down front to sit. While I was waiting for the crew to finish building the set, Julie’s stand-in, Sharri, came out into the audience and spoke to Vivian and I. She had an older lady with her whom she introduced as her mother. We talked for a while and Sharri told us that when she doesn’t wear her “Julie wig” coming into the studio, the guard asks her who she is. Her mother also has a difficult time getting in, and she sews for Julie.

Meanwhile, Patty and the fan club president, Marsha, came down and joined us. When Marsha mentioned that she was looking for a job, Sharri suggested that she could apply on the studio lot to work at ABC. Sharri had some work to do, so her mother sat and talked to us, though it seemed most of the time when she was talking, she just looked at me. After a while, Sherri came back and she and her mother went to the opposite side of the stage apron to sit.

When Julie finally came out on stage, Vivian moved up to the front and so did I. It seemed so long since I’d seen her, and I realized how much I’d missed her. Still, it felt perfectly natural to be in her presence again. She was wearing an orange gown with silk underneath.

The scene they were about to shoot involved the chromo-key. When Julie went to stand onstage in front of the chromo-key, we looked at the monitors to see what the background was going to be; it was snow! In this scene, which would be the opening scene of the show, Julie was supposed to be skiing on a snowy slope. It was so interesting to watch her twist and turn, moving up and down while singing, “I Whistle a Happy Tune.” She made the funniest faces, and I couldn’t help laughing.
Julie with guest star, Eydie Gorme
who arrived like Mary Poppins
with an umbrella.
Julie’s guest stars this week were Jim Nabors and Eydie Gorme. During this scene, Jim came out in a black velvet suit, followed by Eydie, who was also wearing an orange gown in a different style than Julie’s. It had a long, full skirt with insets of pleats. When she came out, she twirled around and I said, loud enough for her to hear, “Oh, I like her dress!” Eydie turned and looked at us for a moment, Then, she left.
(Looking back I probably should have been much quieter, but I think our long eighteen hours on the last show had made me more comfortable in the studio and perhaps bolder than I should have been.)

While we were waiting between takes, Vivian told me, to my surprise, that she had been at the studio the previous day. (Knowing that Patty and Kelly would be there, she didn’t want to be left out.) Anyway, she had been sitting in the middle, next to the apron and Eydie was sitting on the rail just above her, when she lost her balance and nearly fell on her!
                                                          ***
During the break, I told Vivian how we said goodbye to Julie that night after the Keith Michell show, and she told me what had happened to her. That night after I went gone outside with Kelly and Elizabeth, Julie had come back into the studio to thank everyone for their work and wish them a “Happy Christmas.” By now, she had changed into the slacks and blue sweater she was wearing when I saw her.
When she came onstage, Vivian asked one of the cameramen, who was going up to speak with her, to wish Julie a “Merry Christmas” for her, but he told her,
“If you want to say something to Julie, go up and say it.”
“I can’t go on the stage,” she told him. Then, the camera man grabbed her, took her on the stage and pushed her in front of Julie.
“My goodness, aren’t you sleepy?” Julie asked.
Then after a short conversation which I can’t remember, Julie asked,
“What does your Mum think of all this?”
“Oh, she doesn’t care,” Vivien told her. “She just tells me to call any time and she’ll come and pick me up.”
“You must have a wonderful, kind mum.”
After that, Vivian wished Julie a good time in Switzerland and she replied,  
“If I ever get there. I can’t wait!”And she wished Vivian, “a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
I wondered if Julie was talking about Vivian when she came chattering down the hall that night. Well, it turns out there was no snow in Gstaad when the family was there, so that must have been a disappointment.
Then, Vivian commented, “Julie always wants to know all about you, but she doesn’t talk about herself.”

Julie, on the chromo-key, pretending
to be skiing. Even today it is
difficult for me to see her in this
orange dress.
Meanwhile, as we were talking, Julie was being blown by a wind machine in her thin dress and silk muffler. Having finished our conversation, I decided to move back a few rows and sit by myself so I could pay attention to what was happening on stage.
While I was sitting there, a man came and sat in my row. A little while later we started talking. He told me that he was a director/actor/writer from Canada, and said he knew the producer of The Julie Andrews Hour. He also knew Norman Jewison. This director told me he was visiting because he was thinking about looking for a job here in the U.S. Then, to my surprise, he asked me,
“So, are you a dropout?”
 “No," I told him, and explained that I was studying Theatre Arts at Los Angeles City College.
“Is it part of your curriculum to attend Julie’s show?”
“Yes.”
A few moments later, being cautious about meeting men in show business, I moved to the back on the studio audience where I took out some pages and started to work on some sketches. I liked to draw and paint on occasion and it kind of calmed me down from all the excitement going on in the studio.

While I was in the back, the assistant producer (?) came by and looked at me oddly as he passed. Then, I noticed the director from Canada staring at me and smiling, so I went and sat by him again and we talked some more. He told me about the shows that he’s seen and asked me if I had been kidding about Julie being part of my schooling. I explained that while it wasn’t official with my school, I considered attending The Julie Andrews Hour to be part of my schooling, even better than some of my schooling. 

Finally, I decided I shouldn’t keep sitting with him, so I went down to the front row and sat by Vivian. She was now sitting next to Nancy and the fan club president, which was unusual for her. Later, I would find out that Vivian had moved there because one of the men told her to.
Meanwhile, after I sat down, I started talking about singing in Julie’s key, movie offers and other things, until suddenly Vivian turned to me and said,
“I hate to be rude, but they’re talking about us up there.” 
I looked up and Julie, who was sitting in her chair, had a man on either side of her. They were discussing something very seriously.
“What is it?” I asked Vivian.
“They are deciding whether they are going to kick us out or not.”

…to be continued….

A list of The Julie Andrews Hour blogs with links to this page can always be found on:    http://www.JulieAndrewsHour1972.com   SEE 2nd Page 1973

Note: All photos here are for entertainment purposes only


If you think The Julie Andrews Hour should be released for the public on DVD, along with music releases of Julie and her guests, please e-mail a polite request: dan.gopal@itv.com
If you prefer, you may look up ITV in London or Los Angeles, and send a letter there. 

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